Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta issued the following statement on the FBI’s announcement of the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) 2021 Hate Crimes Statistics:
“The Justice Department is committed to prioritizing prevention, investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. The FBI’s 2021 Hate Crimes Statistics are a reminder of the need to continue our vigorous efforts to address this pervasive issue in America. The Justice Department continues to work with the nation’s law enforcement agencies to increase the reporting of hate crime statistics to the FBI to ensure we have the data to help accurately identify and prevent hate crimes. No one in this country should be forced to live their life in fear of being attacked because of what they look like, whom they love, or where they worship. The department will continue to use all of the tools and resources at our disposal to stand up to bias-motivated violence in our communities.”
This is the first year the annual hate crimes statistics are reported entirely through NIBRS. Compared to the previous crime data collection system, NIBRS collects significantly more detailed data for each individual criminal incident. Since 2016, the Justice Department has worked with law enforcement agencies to assist in their transition to reporting crime data through NIBRS, including allocating over $120 million in grants to support agencies’ transition.
As a result of the shift to NIBRS-only data collection, law enforcement agency participation in submitting all crime statistics, including hate crimes, fell significantly from 2020 to 2021. Law enforcement agencies that did not transition to reporting crime data through NIBRS were not able to submit hate crime statistics to the FBI. Several of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies, as well as some states, did not make the transition to NIBRS in time to submit data prior to the reporting deadline, and are not included in the 2021 reported totals. As more agencies transition to the NIBRS data collection with continued support from the Justice Department, hate crime statistics in coming years will provide a richer and more complete picture of hate crimes nationwide.
Since January 2021, the Justice Department has taken a number of other actions in response to a rise in hate crimes and hate incidents. Some of these actions include:
- Aggressively investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. The department has charged more than 60 defendants in over 55 different cases and secured more than 55 convictions of defendants;
- Designating a Deputy Associate Attorney General as the Justice Department’s first-ever Anti-Hate Crimes Resources Coordinator;
- Designating the chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division to serve in a role of facilitating the expedited review of hate crimes;
- Designating an inaugural Language Access Coordinator to improve knowledge, use and expansion of the Department of Justice’s language resources;
- Announcing that over the next year, all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will host a United Against Hate program to help improve the reporting of hate crimes by teaching community members how to identify, report and help prevent hate crimes, and to provide an opportunity for trust-building between law enforcement and communities;
- Elevating civil rights violations and hate crimes enforcement for prioritization among the FBI’s 56 field offices;
- Designating at least one Assistant U.S. Attorney as a Civil Rights Coordinator in every U.S. Attorneys’ Office;
- Facilitating FBI-hosted regional conferences across the country with state and local law enforcement agencies regarding federal civil rights and hate crimes laws to encourage reporting, strengthen relationships between law enforcement and local civil rights organizations, and build trust within the diverse communities they serve;
- Launching an FBI-led National Anti-Hate Crimes Campaign involving all 56 FBI field offices to encourage reporting. The campaign includes outdoor advertising, billboards and radio streaming in addition to social media;
- Revitalizing the Community Relations Service by, among other things, facilitating nearly a dozen Protecting Places of Worship forums to provide interfaith communities with resources and information on securing their places of worship, and to help faith leaders build relationships with law enforcement;
- Adding information to the department’s website on reporting hate crimes in 24 languages, including 18 of the most frequently spoken AAPI languages in the United States;
- Awarding close to $12 million in grant funding through programs to state and local partners to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and assist hate crime victims, including through the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Program to support state, local and Tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies in their efforts to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, and in their outreach to and education of the public, victims and others on hate crimes; and
- With the Department of Education, issuing facts sheets addressing harassment and discrimination in school, including harassment based on COVID-19 related issues, harassment of LGBTQI+ students, and discrimination based on national origin and immigration status.
More information about the department’s response to hate crimes is available at https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes. For more information on the department’s actions to combat hate crimes, click here.